Recent entries

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10201 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I draw from a lot of distinct and different things, mythologies and things like that and the question is "how do I do that, where do I find material on those." I like primary sources, so I like to find people from the culture that they come from, who believe in that specific religion, or have studied it and I like to interview them or hang out on their forums and read how they are talking and things like that. That has been a lot more recent for me, although I will often, (this is where i'll use audiobooks) I will often go grab books on the subjects and listen to audiobooks of them while I'm signing big stacks of papers or something like that.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10202 Copy

    Questioner

    I love the reader for the Mistborn series and the Way of Kings, an I was wondering if you pick the reader and how you collaborate for the reader tell him how to pronounce the names.

    Brandon Sanderson

    His name is Micheal Kramer, and in the Way of Kings his wife, Kate Reading, reads the female viewpoints. i did ask for them on purpose because they also did the Wheel of Time books and i was very fond of their treatment of the Wheel of Time novels, and so when they said "who do you want" I said "can I have Micheal and Kate" and things like that. The question of how I work with them? Most of the time I send them a pronunciation guide. It doesn't always get there in time for their schedule, which is why sometime the names are a little off, but i do send them a pronunciation guide and i do know Micheal now, we've done some signings together. He actually does a reading when we do a signing together, its really cool. Them i did [?]. Most of the audiobook readers I've never met, and I'll usually pick Micheal and Kate for my main-line. For Mistborn and Way of Kings i did that intentionally. i sometimes pick different people for different ones just to have some variety and things like that.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10206 Copy

    Questioner

    I've noticed that Seons and Spren are very, very similar but i haven't seen anything like that in the Mistborn world.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Mistborn the Investiture took other forms. It never obtained sapience in the same way. Its theoretically possible that it could have but it.. yeah.

    Questioner

    So it wouldn't be like the Mist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you could say that the Mist has a bit of sentience to it, so yes, but there are a bunch of different things going on. On one hand, you've got, right up to the end, Preservation's Cognitive Shadow still around doing stuff, basically still there, so that's preventing it. It's just a very different situation.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10208 Copy

    Questioner

    Supposing that a skilled Hemalurgist got hold of some a Shardblade or some Shardplate, how would he best use it assuming that the best way isn't to put it on and kill people with it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's probably the best way, to put it on and kill people with it. I'm not sure why a Hemalurgist would want one more than anyone else would because the metal is already Invested which means its not useful to him.

    Questioner

    So there is no way that he could use a Hemalurgic spike to take some power from the Spren that's crafting it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, that's what you're saying. You want to grab something off the Spren? That's gonna be way harder than grabbing one that's not already made into something. So I don't see why he would want the Blade, just go grab it from them. Even then its going to be worse then, probably in most cases, a person. Maybe its possible that spiking yourself with a Spren would be valid, but you don't want to take it out of the Shardblade. That's gonna be harder, but you would probably have to go to the Cognitive either way to make it work, so yeah.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10209 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have a preference for Windstance when writing the Stomrlight Arhcive, it feels like that one comes up the most.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The people that I'm writing tend to like it. It is very Alethi. The Windrunners and things like that are connected with the Alethi people. Its disproportionately represented by all of the Alethi.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10211 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you envision Patter and Syl when they are in their Shardblade form.

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're going to do sketches eventually, mhmm.

    Questioner

    Ok, cause I'm getting a tattoo at some point and i want to make it relatively accurate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Send to Peter and to... well Peter can be in touch with him. Ben, who does a lot of the... Ben is the one that we have canonize the Shardblades, and so after i write a book he does a bunch of sketches for us of what I've describes and we kinda pick one, and i know we've picked one already, but I don't know. I cant draw it for you or anything but if you go to them they can give it to you.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10213 Copy

    Questioner

    Yesterday you said that crem was actually like Shard poop.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I was saying that it was more like that than what they were saying.

    Questioner

    It's not really poop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, its not.

    Questioner

    Dang it, I like poop jokes! Can you make it poop so i can have a poop joke.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, for the next thirty seconds it is.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10214 Copy

    Questioner

    We know the Shattering was done on purpose. Is it having broken up into intents the only way that it could have shattered, or could it have actually shattered into like sixteen pieces pieces that all have the sixteen intents.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO this, because this is not a book i will write for many years and I do not want to start giving spoilers about it.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10216 Copy

    Questioner

    If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A professor.

    Questioner

    Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, my second love is teach. i like teaching, I like speaking, I like being in front of a crowd. its enjoyable to me and so i'm pretty sure that's where i would have ended up. If i hadn't found myself in another art, which is entirely possible.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10217 Copy

    Questioner

    I was reading Shadows of Self and i think his name is Douglas Venture, how does that work out. I'm not quite sure. I know, so, Elend is not around anymore and I know his dad wasn't the nicest of people, so is he like a direct descendant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is not a direct descendant of Elend. The Ventures were an entire house, so there would have been dozens and dozens of them.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10219 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you schedule your time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These days its based on deadlines, so for instance Rithmatist is a side project, I don't have a contract for that. I just write them, give them to the publisher, and say "its time to publish this". Steelheart i sign a three book deal that has dates in it: when i have to turn them in, if that makes sense. So when I have extra time I do something like this, when i don't, you know, when the contract comes through I've given my obligation to the publisher that i'll do certain things, so i write those. That's how it is these days. It used to be more along the lines of whatever i felt like at the time. You know, its now my job when then it wasn't my job, and as my job there are certain things I need to do.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10223 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep motivation for writing in general, because i always have a lot of trouble with that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well that depends on what part of my career you are talking about. Early on I envisioned this cubicle chasing me and if it caught me i'd have to get a normal, boring desk job. That was actually a big motivation to me, because it was like I only had a certain amount of time to do this thing that I loved and if I didnt actually sit down and do it I was gonna have to be a real boy. After i got published and it got a bit hard I started using the carrot philosophy; i would let myself open up a new pack of magic cards if I hit a certain word limit every day.

    Questioner

    Oh, thats really cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and that worked really well during the hard years when I was trying to get through the Wheel of Time. They were great books but they were so hard to write cause they were way harder than writing my own fiction. Now I don't really need that anymore, now its kinda become this thing where I have all these fans who are waiting for things and I have to make good on the promises I've made to them. Now its more like a "i need to do this", so yeah.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10225 Copy

    Questioner

    You’ve spoken before how DNA exists on multiple different levels in your magic systems. I was curious about something else that I think I read that that the Hemalurgy system actually splices something into the DNA - so what does that imply for heritability of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, it is not inheritable when it's Hemalurgic because it's splicing. It's basically ripping off a piece of the soul and spiking it on someone else's. So, it would not transfer.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10226 Copy

    Questioner

    The metals used in Allomancy are they naturally occurring on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And all the alloys as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the magics would...oh, all the alloys in Roshar naturally occurring… The magic of Mistborn is related to the actual metals' structure being the key. So, you can use metals from other worlds, there's no actual power in the metal. The metal is like a password.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10230 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could ditch the entire Cosmere, *laughter* what would you write about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Start fresh? 

    Questioner

    Twilight fanfiction.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there you go, Twilight fanfic. That's...

    Questioner 2

    Brandon Fifty Shades of Grey would be much tamer. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    The problem is, I don't think my Fifty Shades of Grey would hit quite the same demographic. 

    Questioner 2

    You'd have a great magic system, though. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it would. It would just be a magic system based on different colors of grey and what they do. *laughter*

    Questioner 2

    Sorta like Warbreaker.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no idea what I would do, I'm sure I could find something, but it would probably turn into another cosmere.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10235 Copy

    Questioner

    My question is about Jasnah, and why she tried to assassinate Elhokar’s wife?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, you’re going to need to get to know Elhokar’s wife a little better before you get an answer for that. But understand that Jasnah is very deliberate in her choices, and protecting her family is one of her most important personal mandates.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10238 Copy

    Questioner

    On the coppermind it states specifically that Nightblood is fueled by Investiture, would that mean that an Allomancer burning, say, steel, could then [draw] Nightblood and fuel it off of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Nightblood would feed off that Kinetic Investiture, you could make that work. You would have to keep that portal open, and he would eat the power instead of whatever you were planning to do with it, and when you ran out of metal he’d kill you.

    Questioner

    Would that also work with say...whatever you have in a Coppermind or metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, theoretically you could make that work too. That’s an excellent question, you’re the first to ask that.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10239 Copy

    Questioner

    What’s your most terrifying character, and why is it Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. Nightblood is pretty terrifying… You know, an object created to destroy evil but doesn’t know what it is?

    Questioner

    When you brought it back...I had <to like shut the book> a little bit and like, scary.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted you to think that Nightblood in the hands of Szeth should be one of the most terrifying things that you have ever contemplated.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10240 Copy

    Questioner

    Regarding Hemalurgy and its basis in the Pits of Hathsin being Ruin’s body, my theory is that Kelsier gained his Mistborn powers from being in the Pits of Hathsin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s a good theory. I’m not going to confirm or deny it. It is a very good theory.

    Questioner

    Do you just get all the small little bits and pieces from just the way people talk about him as the Survivor, so *inaudible* theory... Are we ever going to see it confirmed or denied?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is possible that you will, but you will see...I’ve got somethings that I want to write about Kelsier.

    Questioner

    Please, that would be amazing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have not seen the last of that man, I want to write some stuff that happened.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10241 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there meant to be a direct connection between the efficiency for transferring Breaths and the stamp magic from The Emperor’s Soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's not meant to be a direct correlation only in that the magics both work on the same fundamental rules, like all of them do.

    Questioner

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wasn't specifically linking those two in any way in my head when I was working on them.

    Questioner

    Okay, because I was just wondering with the fact that the stamps work better with what there supposed to be like...and the Breath work better--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. That's just a fundamental of the Cosmere, the whole idea of perception, what you're thinking, how much something matches what you're doing, and how well you're able to visualize what you want to have happen. This is all related in the cognitive aspects of the magic, basically, and the spiritual, I suppose.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10243 Copy

    Questioner

    So, you know when Feruchemists increase their weight or strength, something like that, [...] like when they're increasing their strength their muscles literally grow bigger, why does that not happen with Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the idea with Feruchemy, in Feruchemy you're storing like your own physical strength. So, when you're filling the metalmind, you kind of shrink *inaudible* and you get it back. With Allomancy, you are drawing on the strength magically from something else and so the power and strength you're getting is actually not related to your muscles, it's related to the magical power, you're pulling directly from another place. So, that's why.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10244 Copy

    Questioner

    I remember in, I believe it was Hero of the Ages, when Sazed was helping TenSoon escape. When he had fallen on the guard, he said that, by increasing his weight he also increases his density so he doesn't <hurt> himself. Then in The Alloy of Law, it also says that when Wax increases his weight he said that he didn't.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Sazed is just making a mistake. He's mistaking the fact when he increases his weight his musculature changes to be able to handle the new weight and that was what he was talking about. Strength and muscle tone and things like that. I might have just gotten it wrong in the original one [scene], I can't honestly remember, but this is what we kinda decided it needs to be. 

     

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10245 Copy

    Questioner

    In Elantris, so, if the people are dead they don't have any pulse, right? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do not have a pulse.

    Questioner

    So, wouldn't all the blood just go straight to their legs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I worked out a few things on this. In order to make what I was doing work I didn’t want to zombify them too much, and so I would give them like a blood pump, like a pulse of the heart, very softly, like every couple of minutes or something like that, and remember they’re being sustained directly by the magic so I was able to fudge some of the stuff. There’s some other things that would happen, like the gas would cause them to expand and... I didn’t want to do that, I didn’t want them to go all the way to zombie, and so I made some basic metabolic processes happen, but more magically caused than physically.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10248 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Metalminds: if you store weight, how does that work, do you decrease your mass or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, storing weight actually plays with your mass, because if you look at how we do the physics of it… This one is really screwy, because we are changing mass and playing with it. You watch, like with Wax decreases his weight while he's in motion he'll speed up, and if he increases it, he'll slow down. The conservation of momentum and things like that, but we'll doing really weird stuff. It's like, how can you store your mass… Well, in the magic system it works, but it’s one of the weirdest things we do. *pauses to sign book* We kind of play loose and free with the physics sometimes. Like the example that I often use is Wayne doing a speed bubble, the light that is trapped in the speed bubble...like if he turns on a flashlight would actually radiate because of the redshift, and you could just kill everybody by flashing that. So, we make the speed bubbles not cause a redshift for that reason. We kind of work with what is good storytelling first, and then work the physics around it, but we have to put in all these little breaks and things like that in there regularity in order to actually have the story.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #10250 Copy

    Questioner

    I almost have a little bit of trouble understanding the difference between the Lighteyed and the darker...How did you come up with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to have some kind of racism in the books that was removed from the racism we have in our world, so I could talk about it in a more isolated way related to the books; and so, having it based on eye color made sense because the Voidbringers have these glowing red eyes and the Heralds have these bright eyes. So, this idea of eye color being related to your level of nobility, which is not true, but it entered the culture and became the form of racism and prejudice that they use.